Soccer Salaries and Stats: Kevin Shank’ 18

160607-Kevin Shank Summer Scholar -003

Kevin Shank ’18

When avid soccer fan and mathematics and computer science major Kevin Shank ’18 learned about the sports marketing minor at SJU, he couldn’t pass it up. Combining his liberal arts degrees with the business-focused minor has allowed him to combine his interests, and inspired him to apply for the summer scholar program. “I wanted to spend my summer doing work that interested me,” he says. “This program gave me the opportunity to create my own project based on my own questions, and search for those answers.”

The questions Kevin decided to raise focus on player contribution in relation to salary. ESPN recently posted an article about salary discrepancy in Major League Soccer. “One interesting fact this article highlights is that two different players in MLS make more per season than the whole roster of 14 different teams,” says Kevin.

Alongside visiting instructor of sports marketing and sports writer Amie Sheridan, Kevin is evaluating the 2015 Major League Soccer season to create player rankings in an unbiased fashion.

“Past scholarly journals have shown through statistics which aspects are most important and strongly correlated with winning teams,” says Kevin. “With that information, and through collecting and organizing the raw data, I will also determine which players are most efficient in terms of salary and predict player/team performances based on recent results.”

“I am extremely impressed with Kevin’s genuine curiosity and work ethic,” says Sheridan. “He is an enthusiastic and smart self-starter, and his project will help to shine light on how Major League Soccer can effectively use data to make strategic roster decisions.”

“I want to enter this field of sports analytics,” he says. “I am hoping that this project will offer a sample of what it is like to analyze Big Data in the sports industry.”

A native of Broomall, Pennsylvania, Kevin is also a member of Saint Joseph’s club Gaelic football team, a leader for the Philadelphia Service Immersion Program, a community partner coordinator for the weekly service site at Our Mother of Sorrows soup kitchen/outreach, an APEX participant and a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.

— Colleen Sabatino ’11 (M.A.)

Office of University Communications

* * *

Summer Scholars Project Title: “Analyzing Player Contribution in Major League Soccer”

Mentor: Amie Sheridan, visiting instructor of sports marketing

High School: Archbishop John Carroll HS

Follow @sjuartssciences @haubschool on Twitter to learn about this year’s summer scholars. #SJUSSP

Food and Emotion: Jane Hooper ’18

jane Hooper '18Food marketing major Jane Hooper ’18 wants to know what happens when you get HANRGY. For her summer scholars research project, she’s studying the impact of emotion on food consumption — specifically the emotion of anger. “I have always been interested in emotions and how emotions affect human behavior,” she says, adding that currently, there is very little research on anger in relation to food consumption.

Jane’s mentor, associate professor of food marketing, Ernest Baskin, Ph.D., is an expert in environmental and emotional factors in food consumption, among other topics.

“Emotions and their effects on consumption behavior is a very important topic that spans the fields of psychology and marketing,” says Dr. Baskin. “However, most of the research on emotions has focused on happy and sad emotions and how they affect consumption.”

According to Baskin, researchers looking at this topic have typically lumped together all negative emotions, focusing mostly on sadness, resulting in predictions that people would generally want to use food to engage in mood repair.

By isolating anger and how it functions differently from sadness in terms of consumption, Jane’s topic explores new questions.

In addition to completing an extensive literature review, Jane has worked with Dr. Baskin to compose and conduct surveys and observational studies, and to analyze the resulting data.

“I love doing research and analyzing data which is why I decided to apply for the Summer Scholars Program,” says the Connecticut native who is also pursuing a minor business intelligence & analytics minor. “I want to go into marketing research and this project is allowing me to explore what that field is like.”

A member of the Dean’s Leadership Program as well as the Food Marketing and American Marketing Association chapters at SJU, Jane has earned a spot on the dean’s list each semester. She interned with specialty food company, Carl Brandt, Inc. in 2014 and worked as a Fancy Food Show representative for the company at the annual food show in New York City. She also co-hosted a radio show on the University’s station, Radio 1851.

Outside of academics, Jane is involved in service on campus. She a leader for the Magis Weekly Service Program, participates in the Collegiate Challenge and attended an Appalachian Experience Service Trip to Kentucky in 2015. She be studying abroad in Florence, Italy in the Fall.

— Colleen Sabatino ’11 (M.A.)

Office of University Communications


Summer Scholars Project Title: “Is emotion a key factor in food consumption and food choice?”
Mentor: Ernest Baskin, Ph.D., assistant professor of food marketing

High school: Fairfield Ludlow High School, Fairfield, Connecticut

Follow  &  on Twitter to learn about this year’s summer scholars. #SJUSSP